Book Thieves, Literally.

Aysha Kemp

Last year, during the pandemic of 2020, the library had pages of long lists of missing/overdue books, but thankfully, our librarians understood that last spring was a difficult time. Mrs. Bailey and Mrs.Friesen worked hard this fall to track down the books, and most were safely found and returned to the library! 

“Missing books are always somewhat of an issue in libraries. I don’t believe we have books which have been stolen, most are simply overdue, and occasionally books are lost, but usually, they turn up”, said Mrs. Bailey. There are very few books still out, which are believed to be truly missing, and many quite overdue. Usually, when a student loses or damages a book, they are responsible for replacing that book. The book can range between $17.00 to $25.00; since they have been circulated through so many people, they need to purchase hardcover books as much as possible. 

Bailey said, “ Once a book has been overdue for several weeks, we mail an invoice to the student’s home.  That statement lists the missing books and the replacement cost.  If they cannot find the book, they may choose to pay the replacement fee. If they don’t pay to replace it, they will need to pay for it before they graduate.” 

Although many books end up being lost or not returned, the library makes a typical range purchase yearly, of between 100-200 books. 

When asked if it is typical for books to come up missing,  “I won’t say it is common, but it does happen. We don’t want to charge late fines for overdue books, but sometimes the fact that we don’t lessen the urgency for finding a book that is overdue and remembering to return it,” said Bailey. 

Mrs. Bailey initiated new policies this year.  The procedure is that students can not renew new books.  If students have an overdue book, they cannot check out a new book until the outstanding book is returned.